Tuesday, 25 February 2014

March is Doctor Who reading month!

We thought we'd try something different in March, reading novels from the Doctor Who universe, and not the same one! We both love the TV show, and we've both listened to some of the audio-books and we both have some of the novels on our reading list so we thought we might do a themed month this time.

Katastrofekat will be reading The Sleep of Reason

Doctor Who: The Sleep Of ReasonAuthor: Martin Day
Published: 2004

"The latest in a long line of suicide attempts sees Caroline 'Laska' Darnell admitted to the Retreat, a groundbreaking medical center surrounded by woodland. To her horror, she recognizes the Retreat from her recent nightmares of an old building haunted by ghostly dogs with glowing eyes. But who will believe her stories of an evil from the past that has already made one attempt to destroy the building and all its inhabitants? The mysterious Dr. Smith seems curiously aware of the Retreat's past, and is utterly fascinated by Laska's waking dreams and prophetic nightmares. But if Laska is unable to trust her own perceptions, can she trust Dr. Smith?" - Bookdepository

The Eight Doctor, a girl in a mental institution, I mean "medical center", the mixing of past (turn of the century-ish as I understand) and present. This is an interesting premise (if not original), it could all be in Laska's head, or not. I'm sure reality and fantasy will mix, past and present wind itself toward the solution to the mystery of what is going on at the Retreat.

Kiwie will be reading Shada:

Author: Gareth Roberts, Douglas Adams (based off some scripts he wrote)
Published: 2012
"The Doctor's old friend and fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis has retired to Cambridge University - where nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. But now he needs help from the Doctor, Romana and K9. When he left Gallifrey he took with him a few little souvenirs - most of them are harmless. But one of them is extremely dangerous.
The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey isn't a book for Time Tots. It is one of the Artefacts, dating from the dark days of Rassilon. It must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. The sinister Skagra most definitely has the wrong hands. He wants the book. He wants to discover the truth behind Shada. And he wants the Doctor's mind..." - Bookdepository

This is about the fourth doctor, and I picked up the book cheaply in an Irish bookstore a two summers ago. I have no idea what to expect, I am not that familiar with the fourth doctor, but I hope this will be an exiting read anyway. I do know about the abandoned scripts that Douglas Adams wrote, that were partially made, but then left behind due to a strike, never to make it onto the screen. The scripts have been published, and there have been audio versions (I think?). Anyway, I only learned about this after having bought the book, which I bought because a) it was cheap b) I wanted to read a Doctor Who story that wasn't a choose-your-own-adventure (Claws of the Macra) nor an audiobook (I do love the ones read by the recent Doctors though!) c) I wanted to know the classic Who Doctors better d) Douglas Adams.

Friday, 7 February 2014

All these books I haven't read: The Saga of Kiwie's to be Read Pile(s) #1

What is this? A post not about a specific book or out monthly read? Are we sick? No, just really into books and thought we might expand this blog a little. 

I have a project: 
All those books, those TWO piles are books that I own (or, in two cases, have borrowed from my co-blogger Kat!), but have not yet read. Yeah, that is a lot of books. Some of these I bought a decade ago (I think). So in 2014 I will read as many as I can, but because new & exiting always sneaks ahead of (most of) these, I've made some rules:
  1. Every other book you read have to be from this pile.
  2. You are not allowed to buy new books, unless they are for the monthly cat's tale read, new releases from authors you love, or the next installment in a series (which is why I'm staring at my mailbox, eagerly awaiting a book). 
  3. New books are always added to the pile (unless I tear them open and read them immediately) and not kept separately.
So I'll be reading mostly these, but also books for this blog, new releases (or next installments in series that may not be entirely new, but that I'm reading) and a lot of library books. Libraries are the best. I'm aiming for 4 books a month in 2014 so I should grind this down to one pile by the end of the year. I'll post progress photos!

Immediate TBR:

As you can probably see I've cracked open To Kill a Mockingbird already, next is eleanor&park (which I've checked out of the library, and want to read immediately) and then I'm staring Game of Thrones. Yep. I'm doing it. I've had this lying around since summer and it's not even mine, so I'm getting on that sometime in the next two weeks. Not pictured: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, our monthly pick, due to the fact that I've got that one as an e-book. So yeah, this is what February's got in store for me. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Book chat: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Warning: This is a book discussion, there will be some spoilers so if you haven't read the book yet, but intend to I'd advice staying clear of the conversation below.

Kat: Hi!
Kiwie: Hello!

Kat: What did you think about the book then? I really enjoyed it and I think this has been one of the better books we have read for the Cat's Tale
Kiwie: I absolutely adored it. This was a proper vampire novel!
Kat: Yeah, I agree! The vampires were very good and I loved Tana, the main character. I would like to meet her in real life.

Kiwie: Tana was pretty awesome, she made a lot of irrational decisions, but they were all based on what she thought was the best for her and the people she cared about. She had a heart, a conscience but also a practical side.

Kat: Yes. Her decisions were sometimes irrational, but most of us make bad choices sometimes, so I felt it was right for her character. She was well developed and seemed to be a whole person, not two-dimensional.

Kiwie : Yes, her stupid choices made sense a lot of the time, and it is mentioned several times that she might have a bit of a death wish. The other characters were good too, because they were a mix of good and bad, and most of them were distinct from each other.

Kat: There were some really annoying characters as well. Tana's boyfriend and the twins they meet outside of the cold town for example. Midnight and Winter (the twins) was kind of stereotypical, but it worked for the book.

Kiwie: Yeah, but people are annoying, so it's good, and there are so many Midnights on the Internet, and I'm sure most of the people who went into these coldtowns ended up like Winter; dead and not in the right way! The vampires were pretty good though, we did not get a lot lore, but we did get some (what with Gavriel and Lucien's back stories) and that was nice. They were complicated beings, not all bad, but certainly not very good either. Lucien was a bit of a vampire stereotype, he's pretty much like I picture vampires in my head a lot of the time.

Kat: True. The part about Lucien especially, I also picture him like the stereotypical vampire I have in my head. I read a lot of series and wish more of the books I picked up were standalone novels, but with this particular book, I really wouldn't mind a deeper dive into the world and get to know it and its characters better.

Kiwie: Yeah, this was not a novel that dug deep into anyone, except Tana and her family, even though it did provide enough information about the other characters to understand a lot of their behaviour as well (though not all of them). The vampire's were good though, I really liked the whole "reality show" aspect and the sex&blood connection that was made. Not original, but was done in a way that quite matched the sticker on the book saying "dark, decadent and seductive." It had those aspects, as well as a more balanced "realism."

Kiwie: The vampires were "keeping up appearances" and Gavriel came in with his crazy (that turned out to be not so crazy) and shook it up.

Kat: Some crazy to stir things up a bit is never wrong if you ask me. I also liked the sudden start of the book, with Tana waking up in the bathtub and finding all of her friends at the party has been murdered, except her ex-boyfriend and Gavriel. I like that she wants to take her car and run away but that she still saves them.

Kiwie: Yeah, really liked the start too, shows Tana's strength and flaws, and she makes the kind of decisions she'll keep making throughout.

Kat: Also, the book wasn't really heavy with romance, which is a plus for me at least, and the love interests that do exists in the book are realistic and not just insta-love.

Kiwie: Yeah, I mean Tana kind of falls for Gavriel, against her better judgement, in an "instant" fashion, but I mean, I would too...
Kat: Me too, I think!

Kat: I do love Holly Black and the way she writes. Her worlds are quite similar to our own, but darker, grittier and deadlier. I like that.

Kiwie: Ditto! I also really loved the ending on this one, closed and open at the same time. Great for those of us who would have made a totally different choice...

Kat: Yes, I think there is quite a few vampire fans out there that would have made a different choice than Tana. It was an open ending that wasn't so open that it was annoying. Open endings can sometimes be a bother, and it feels like the author makes you do the job, but in this book it worked perfectly. I think this book will end up high on my list of best books I have read in 2013

Kiwie: Yeah, Tana made a choice, we just didn't get to stick around to see if it was actually possible. I was really into this book, it was a really entertaining, fun story with my favourite supernatural creatures being the way that I like them best.

Kat: Indeed. Also, the cover of the book is so pretty and simple. It looks really good on my shelf and I like having it in a physical copy.

Kiwie: Yeah, beautiful cover!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

February pick: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This month we are reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. We decided it was time to read some historical fiction for this book club and this seemed like a book we would both enjoy.

Here's what Goodreads says about the book:

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Buy: Bookdepository.